Pembroke Regatta

M2 produced a couple of spirited rows against crews higher in the bumps charts at Pembroke regatta before falling just short of a place in the semi-finals against Robinson.

Again, due to badminton cuppers, various date mix-ups and an injury in M1, we were 3 rowers short of the crew that had been training at the start of the week - Jerry was in for Mark at 7, Krzysztof in for Ryan at bow and our mystery sub from Queens' replaced Lothar at 4. With such a scratch crew, expectations weren't that high, but we were still confident of producing some good performances.

1st round - Beat Trinity Hall by 1 length

The row down to the start felt good, and the practice start under the railway bridge was possibly the best that we'd ever produced. At the race, after the (very quiet, according to the Tit Hall website, despite the fact we heard it from the far side of the river!) call to row, we immediately wound it to 39 off the start and found ourselves 2/3 of a length up after 15 strokes. Unfortunately we couldn't find a comfortable stride, and the drop to 34 felt like exactly that, a drop without any extra length or strength on the strokes. A push just before the railway bridge brought them back to within half a length, after we went "soft in the middle" but eventually our fitness told and we pushed away towards the finish, coming over the line a full length clear. A promising row, but definitely room for improvement for the second round.

2nd round - Beat Emmanuel easily

"Easily" is really an injustice to the race, but that's the way it turned out. Emmanuel had beaten Caius (who are being chased by M1 in bumps!) in the previous round, and we knew we had a tough race on our hands from a division 2 crew. Another cracking start took us out to 2/3 of a length up after 15, and this time the stride was more effective. However, Emma weren't going to give up, continually calling pushes down the first half of the course. Every push of theirs was met by one of our own, and while against Tit Hall they crept up on us, we held firm against Emma. After the bridge, we were out at 3/4 of a length when their final push was too ferocious, causing their 6 man to crab 150m from the line and the boat to spear across the river, leaving them no option but to hold the boat up as we paddled across the line 6 lengths clear. I think we would have held on by 1/2 a length, but it would have been a great finish!

3rd round - Lost to Robinson by 1 length

Due to the format of Pembroke regatta, we found ourselves racing after 90 minutes rest, compared to the 5 hours that Robinson had after their 1st round victory against Christ's. After sitting for 45 minutes in the rain, we were on the start ready to go. The much bigger Robinson crew did to us what we'd done in the previous rounds by gaining 2/3 of a length within 15 strokes. Halfway to the railway bridge the gap was up to a length, and we were powerless to bring it back. The margin wasn't increasing, but we lacked the final gear to take the rate up and really put any pressure on them, and whilst we made them work the whole way to the end, we never made any of the ground back, crossing the line a length down.

Whilst it was a disappointing end to the day, for a boat with 3 subs (one of whom had only rowed 3 times in the last year!) it wasn't a bad result, and we now know what to work on to ensure some good bumps results next week!